An #UPFRONT conversation with Rachita and Rebecca

Rachita Saraogi and Rebecca Thomson are co-founders and directors at Our Sisterhood, a design based social enterprise that helps girls between the ages of 13 and 17 unleash their creative confidence.

Rachita & Rebecca are both social impact designers, using design as a vehicle to create work that is as honest as it is beautiful and useful. After meeting while studying Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London, they realised they are both passionate about work that creates a lasting and positive change.

“Sisterhood raises awareness and develops a personal understanding of the positive impact being a confident young girl can make on her future success.” 

Together they founded Sisterhood in 2015, and since then, have been delivering programs for young girls to build confidence and self-esteem through social action projects. Their goal is to help young girls realize their full potential, so they can go on to become leaders, creators and changemakers.

We spoke to them recently to hear their thoughts and advice on confidence, public speaking and more.

What does confidence mean to you?

At Sisterhood we have three key pillars: Confidence, Courage and Charisma. Confidence for us is explained as ‘having the Confidence to be yourself’ – this means girls being comfortable with who they are – embracing their strengths as well as the things they want to work on, finding what they’re passionate about and having the skills and platform to use it for good.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered?

Our biggest challenge to date has been adapting to the world of entrepreneurship. We are always making a conscious effort to balance our creativity with our ability to make business decisions which proves our business model is sustainable.

Our work brings the creative industry to the education sector, which in itself brings its own challenges. That said, through the work we have done so far, we’ve demonstrated the opportunities outweigh those challenges.

How did you overcome these challenges? Can you share some of the strategies with us?

We had to adapt the way we use creativity – this is something we wanted to ensure is used within every process of starting your own business. We took the ‘learning by doing’ approach and dove straight in. This meant we had to overcome a few challenges such as:

– We had to accept that we were not going to get it all right, but that it’s part of the learning process. In fact, the more we got wrong the more we continue to get right.

– We had to embrace the imposter syndrome – being female and usually the youngest in most rooms means we have to continuously remind ourselves that we deserve to be there and that we can hold our own. In our case, it really helps that we have each other for support. But it’s also in realising that everyone at some point has felt this, so we’re not alone.

“Trust yourself – you know more than you think you do.” 

– Asking for support and help is MORE than okay – we don’t have to be experts at everything or have it all together all the time. Often we find it hard to ask for help, but the result is so much better when we do.

What are some things you have on the horizon for building or challenging your confidence?

We are looking forward to upcoming programmes; these are Sisterhood School programmes we deliver in schools and after-school clubs. We are also looking forward to launching Sisterhood Summer next year. This will be a 2 week intensive work experience for girls aged 16-18 who will be working on a creative brief in collaboration with a chosen brand/organisation. So keep a lookout!

What would your advice be to people reading who want to be more #UPFRONT?

Buddy up!  So often we don’t even approach opportunities or things we want to improve within ourselves because we’re initially anxious or skeptical of how it could be. But doing anything alongside a friend or with your team makes it easier – we always say that we are stronger together!

Why do you think organisations like #UPFRONT are important?

Whether it’s sharing your stage, starting your own project or having access to a mentor, it’s important to provide equal opportunities. If we want to live in a world where we see ourselves reflected, then it’s vital for us to create those spaces and opportunities.

Thank you to Rachita and Rebecca from Sisterhood for sharing their story with us! We can’t wait to see what else is in store for them. 🔥

To learn more about Sisterhood, visit their website here. You can also follow them on Twitter @our_sisterhood and on Instagram @oursisterhood

If you’re interested in sharing your confidence story with us, please send us an email at helloupfront@gmail.com or reach out on Twitter at @upfrontglobal. We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s to being #UPFRONT!